Sometimes the prince has to learn some more lessons before he becomes king.
1. The Scale – The grandness, the scope, the larger than life feel of this movie was just incredible. I am STILL bewitched in amazement by how they made me believe in each of the different realms that we were in. It felt like battles in the Heavens. I especially loved Thor against the Frost Giants. Gnarly.
2. Thor himself – Holy guacamole, Thor dominates in this movie! There is no doubt at any point(when he’s fully powered) that he’s the god of thunder. Even his friends are in awe of him, because he can do stuff that they can’t do. Also, in terms of being a Norse drinking legend, this iteration of Thor fits the bill quite nicely. Chris Hemsworth does a very good job of bringing this character to life. He makes you believe that if Thor was real, he’d be like what you see on the screen.
3. The FX – Holy Moses, every prop in this movie, I WANT IT. I loved the Frost Giant totem. I loved Mjölnir (pronounced Mee-yol-neer). I want to live on the rainbow bridge and have Heimdall’s eyes. Plus every time they beamed somewhere on the bridge, it was awesome. Star Trek transporters got nothin’ on Norse teleportation!
4. The Comic Book Winks – Holy crap, there are so many nods to the comics mythology until you can’t count them all. I’ll have to see it again to note every one. They make it clear that Thor lives in the same universe as Iron Man and The Hulk. There is also the first (and unexpected) appearance of Hawkeye. The obligatory post credit scene with Nick Fury and the Cosmic Cube. The Eye of Agamotto from Dr. Strange in the Asgardian trophy room. Awesomeness, plus the usual Stan Lee cameo. There’s even a cameo by J. Michael Straczynski. Extra props to the only black man in Asgard being hyper cool.
5. The Comic Relief – Darcy. Holy crap she was just a riot. She was the Chandler of the piece. Every word out of her mouth was blessed near comedic gold. And so was the physical comedy with Thor himself. It was in the right balance. As opposed to Iron Man 3.
1. Loki – Tom Hiddleston actually does a fantastic job as Loki. It’s not his performance that puts this under the “Meh” heading. The problem is, we’re never quite sure what to feel about him as an antoganist. Loki doesn’t make you feel much of anything by the end, and I was disappointed by that. You don’t fear him like a Terminator, you don’t think he’s a destructive force like Vader, you aren’t deeply frightened of him like an Alien. As a villain he doesn’t really move you because it seems to keep coming down to him being a jealous whiny brat. Even if you wanted to paint him as Heath Ledger did with his excellent interpretation of The Joker, someone that loves anarchy. That’s still unclear with Hiddleston’s Loki. You can understand more of Loki’s mischievous ways for sure. But by the time he and Thor have the final fight, it doesn’t really have that much emotional weight. Maybe that’s what they were going for, a character that you can never pin down. I like my villains more villainy than ambiguous.
2. The OdinSleep – If you read the comics, you know what it is. Without that background, the audience has no idea what it means, why it happens, or why it’s over. Just no context at all.
3. A central driving plot point – If you’re going to do the Cain/Abel thing, do it right. Loki should have killed their mother. Loki should’ve made clear his plan to usurp the throne by eliminating anyone who would stand in his way. I like my villains to be clearly evil. Once you find out that Loki’s actually a Frost Giant, that goes exactly nowhere. There’s no ticking clock, no sense of anything. The hero can just hang out in a diner, because what’s driving this thing again? Thor doesn’t even know it’s a humility test, how would he know when he’s passed it? What’s at stake here? They should’ve shown more of the Frost Giants destroying Asgard. With Asgardians dying, that would’ve created more of the need for Thor to be there.
4. Odin’s punishment of Thor – In my opinion, Odin completely overreacted. What Thor did was brash, but that couldn’t have possibly been the FIRST time Thor went off and did some craziness. What Odin did in return was at a 10, when he should’ve been at best a 6. I know that this is a fundamental part of the mythos, Thor’s arrogance and banishment to Earth. That’s not what I’m talking about. I also personally love the Don Blake persona and I hate that they got rid of it. I’m saying that it comes across as if Odin is just now figuring these things out about his kid. It’s also funnily hypocritical because Odin just snaps, and does something rash and impulsive. And he does so while telling Thor that he’s not ready to be King because he’s…um….rash and impulsive.
1. Natalie Portman is not Jane Foster – Natalie is the pretty, hot actress of the moment, but here she is totally miscast. She’s just the flat, really generic “hot girl in a movie.” She doesn’t even really have a character. I completely do not buy her as an astro physicist and a genius in this context. I guess they were trying to combine Helen Hunt’s character from Twister with the comicbook Jane Foster. Natalie doesn’t pull it off. She’s totally wrong for this role; Jodie Foster, or a Jodie Foster type would’ve worked way better here.
2. The “Instant Love” – Come ON. Darcy was more convincing. A god falls from the sky, sure you’re hot for him, but it’s infatuation at best. Thor and Jane have a thing after what, two days together? Give me a break. They had no time to build depth. Plus Thor and Sif were supposed to have a thing, and that’s totally ignored in this movie. Thor and Sif have had an eternity together to forge their bond, as well as countless battles. They’ve saved each other’s bacon many times. Thor takes one look at Jane Foster and he’s all enamored with her? Yeah no. I have a fundamental problem with the ‘hero falls in love with the first girl he sees’ syndrome. The primary offender being Superman and Lois Lane in the Donner movies. That goes double when it’s just conVENiently a laughably hot girl who oh yeah is an impossible brainiac as well. Yeah they need to find some new tropes.
3. Thor’s Redemption – Just not clear enough for my taste. So what, he’s dead, or just unconscious? Then, when he becomes worthy, the hammer just flies back to him on its own? Lamesauce. And he’s redeemed and learned his lesson in what…TWO DAYS?
4. The reaction to Thor – There is NO. WAY. that S.H.I.E.L.D. or any other part of the government would’ve let Thor go. There is no way that the government would build such a covert neon covered facility in the desert around the hammer that could easily be seen from the air. No way that TMZ wouldn’t have swarmed New Mexico. No way that Jane and crew wouldn’t have been arrested and then ‘disappeared’ by the gubmint. Thor only really has a few fish out of water moments, and then he’s adjusted, and so are the people around him. Yeah nope.
Don’t get me wrong, in spite of my criticisms, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. This movie did what it set out to do, which was be HIGHLY entertaining. It also wanted to introduce Thor to more of a mainstream audience, and create a perfect tie in to The Avengers, I definitely want to see it again!! And own it on DVD!! I highly recommend it, because despite its flaws it’s still a fun romp. t’s hard to:
- Get the superhero right
- Give the movie rewatchability
- Make the movie accessible to a mainstream audience
- Make the movie plain fun
and Thor delivers, on all counts. Kudos!